QRA staff has extensive experience in education policy and reform, with particular expertise in school improvement, college & career readiness & success, and using data to inform state and district policy and principal and teacher practice.
Our team is unique in that every member is an experienced researcher and evaluator who also has extensive experience as technical assistance providers. This allows us to be especially nimble and efficient, and equally important, it ensures that all of the work we do is actionable and impactful.
We are located in VA, DC, MD, FL, SC, and WA and work in states and districts across the country.
Dr. Becky Smerdon, Founder & CEO, has more than 20 years of experience in education research, evaluation, policy analysis, and technical assistance and has led both large and small projects for federal, state, and local clients. She has extensive experience designing and conducting qualitative, quantitative, and multi-method studies and has conducted numerous workshops and worked one-on-one with clients to optimize student and system outcomes. Her areas of expertise include college and career readiness and success, secondary education reform, system improvement, and educational equity.
Angela Estacion, Senior Research Associate, has over twelve years of experience in research and evaluation settings and provides leadership and research and evaluation expertise designing, managing, and executing quantitative and qualitative studies and leading proposal development teams. Ms. Estacion has a strong background in statistical analyses of district-, state-, and national data sets using advanced statistical methods and conducted research across a broad spectrum of social science issues, including projects on middle and high school students’ academic and behavioral experiences, career and technical education, and high school dropout and projects examining low-income and minority families.
Aimee Evan, Senior Research Associate, leads QRA’s Data Use team. Aimee has experience developing research alliances and partnerships and provides technical analytic assistance to hundreds of educators each year. With over 15 years of qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation experience and classroom and school transformation experience, Aimee is an expert in using data to improve student outcomes.
Margaret Gheen, Senior Research Associate, has eighteen years of experience developing, managing, and executing qualitative and quantitative education research and evaluation projects. Previously an evaluation specialist at two of the nation’s largest school districts, Margaret also has extensive experience working within school systems.
Adam Hall, Senior Research Associate, has over 18 years of direct experience in education research, technical assistance, & public policy. Adam’s research expertise is in qualitative research and case study methods. He has worked with schools, districts, states, Federal Offices, and foundations to assess, evaluate, and strategically improve student achievement.
Vanessa Hein, Research Associate, is an education anthropologist who also has experience analyzing quantitative data. Vanessa has worked on multiple research projects centered on increasing student readiness and success in post-secondary environments, as well as drop-out prevention efforts surrounding the development and implementation of Early Warning Systems, as well as the examination of district and school level data literacy.
Deb Greenleaf, Chief Accounting Officer, has worked in a variety of accounting and finance positions for over 20 years.
Gretchen Rhines Cheney, technical consultant with Quill Research Associates, brings 20 years of experience working at the intersection of research, policy and on-the-ground practice and strong research and writing skills to a variety of education reform-oriented clients. She has expertise in school leadership and educator effectiveness.
Cynthia Skinner, Senior Research Associate
Liz Cohen, Senior Research Associate